The latest edition of the Warwickshire Trading Standards Bogus Bugle has been published
Test carried out on portable halogen heaters by Central England Trading Standards Services, has prompted Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards and Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service to issue guidance on their purchase and safe use.
Concern is being expressed about the safety of used cars for sale in Warwickshire and the adequacy of car servicing following a large scale enforcement exercise carried out by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s (NFIB) proactive intelligence team is warning people of a new investment scam whereby fraudsters are offering leases on computer servers.
Fraudsters are offering people the chance to invest in the leasing of computer servers from companies that also specialise in Bitcoin Mining.
Bitcoin is a digital-only currency traded from computer to computer and is usually used to pay for goods online. Bitcoin has no central authority and is not backed by governments or banks.
In this new type of methodology, people are cold called using high pressure tactics and persuaded to invest into a new form of alternate investment. Fraudsters claim this investment will be subject to huge growth because of the rise in demand from major international companies that require computer server space.
Victims are promised to receive a guaranteed 5% monthly increase on any amount they invest as their returns are based on the capital generated from the major companies utilising the services.
In addition to the server leasing scam, scammers claim that the new start up companies they are investing in also specialise in Bitcoin mining with the servers that are owned. In reality, none of this is true.
Protect yourself against investment fraud
If you’re considering any type of investment, always remember: if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. High returns can only be achieved with high risk.
If you get a call out of the blue, be wary; if in doubt don’t be polite, just hang up.
Take the time to seek independent legal or financial advice before making a decision.
Always check the credentials of the company you’re dealing with. Check for known fraudulent organisations at the FCA.
Warning from Action Fraud
Never buy goods or services from cold callers.
Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of telephone cold calls from people using high pressure sales techniques to sell ‘insurance products’. These may be called ‘home protection related schemes’ and the callers may suggest that consumers can avoid selling their homes if they need to go in to a care home. The callers sometimes refer to the new Care Act and are reported to be both rude and abusive.
Never buy goods or services from cold callers.
Warwickshire Trading Standards has received a spate of complaints from consumers about phone calls from bogus solicitors and ‘recovery’ businesses claiming that the consumer is owed PPI compensation.
In all cases the consumer is asked to make an advanced payment to receive their compensation. Some consumers have been asked to pay a ‘holding fee’ of several hundred pounds, whilst others have been asked to provide Ukash vouchers for amounts between £80 and £180.
Fraudsters often ask for money in advance which they then disappear with, never providing the compensation refunds they promise!
Never pay up front for these services.
Warwickshire Trading Standards are warning Warwickshire residents to beware of letters that falsely claim to have been sent by the People’s Postcode Lottery, a genuine UK lottery.
These letters normally claim that the recipient has won a large amount of money (£825,000) in the international version of the lottery. The letter may also request a processing fee of £1400 in order to release the winning funds.
You cannot win a lottery unless you have entered.
Legitimate lotteries don’t ask you to pay taxes, custom fees, insurance shipping or handling or any other fee before receiving your ‘winnings’.
You will often be asked to send money upfront to the perpetrators by money transfer.
Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of bogus calls from people falsely claiming to be members of the Fraud Squad.
A resident reported that he had had a phone call from someone who appeared to be calling from a foreign call centre, claiming to be detective constable from the serious fraud squad. The fraudulent policeman gave the resident a bogus collar number and claimed that he had arrested two people who were in possession of blank debit cards in his name. The fraudster then asked the resident to phone his bank immediately to check that his own debit card was okay.
Had the resident done this, the fraudster would have pretended to phone off, but would have stayed on the line to then masquerade as the resident’s bank, in the hope of obtaining personal and financial information!
Rugby residents are warned to beware of bogus callers falsely claiming to have links to Age UK and asking questions about fascias and guttering. This might be an attempt by a rogue trader or high pressure sales company.